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Doing small workouts whenever you can is better than not doing any exercise at all. If you do not have the time to work out that bod before going to work, then do it while at work. Here are five exercises you can do at your desk while crunching those numbers and completing those monthly reports.
The health risks of a sedentary lifestyle are real. Obesity is on the rise and the cases of diabetes and stroke affecting younger demographics are troubling. While these exercises won’t turn you into Michael Phelps anytime soon, they will still burn off those calories and get you to eventually dedicate more time to working out.
If Kourtney Kardashian can do 100 squats a day before hitting the shower, you can definitely do at least 20 right beside your desk or even in the bathroom, if the thought of your co-workers watching simply makes you want to abandon the idea altogether. Just make sure you execute each squat properly with legs shoulder-width apart and knees not extending beyond your toes as you lower yourself toward the ground. You should feel some resistance on your glutes and thighs. While doing it, think Kardashian thoughts—like maybe what to shop for when your ass starts looking amazing.
2. LEG RAISES
You’ve got no excuse. Nobody will notice you raising your legs when they’re hidden underneath all that paperwork. Slowly raise one straightened leg to 90 degrees or perpendicular to the floor. Hold for 10 to 12 counts and then raise another few inches and hold for five seconds. Repeat with the other leg.
3. WATER BOTTLE CURL
Find a water bottle the size of one liter or maybe even more, depends on you. Fill it with water and use it as makeshift dumbbell. Like a regular bicep curl, bend your elbow and curl the arm up toward your chest. Then, lower the bottle back down. Do at least 12 to 15 reps. Transfer bottle to the other hand and repeat with the other arm.
4. MODIFIED PUSHUPS
This can be done against a sturdy wall or your desk (provided your desk isn’t on wheels or is easily moved). Place palms against the wall or against the edge of your desk with your arms straight and your body straight and at an angle to the floor. Slowly bend your elbows and lower your body toward the wall or desk. Hold for a few seconds. Then, straighten arms back to starting position. Do 10 to 12 reps.
5. CHAIR CRUNCHES
If your chair is the type with wheels, we recommend doing this on a sturdier surface— a backless stool, the floor, that weird plastic sculpture that looks fun to sit on. Hold your body with your legs raised and your torso at an angle from the floor. You should look like a letter V, but with your knees bent. Slowly curl your chest towards your knees and then return to starting position. Your back and feet should not touch the floor. Do 12 to 15 reps. Wait for abs to appear in four to six months, depending on number of reps done per day and dedication to the cause.
There are more ways to keep yourself moving throughout the day—taking the stairs, standing more often, walking with colleagues as you discuss ideas. The important thing is to not stay glued to your office chair for the entirety of the eight-hour shift. Stay active. Get toned. Who knows, the next office party or conference might just be at a rooftop pool or by the beach!